TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A 62-year-old Texas man is facing a possible felony charge after accidentally shooting his 12-year-old grandson while officiating a wedding in Nebraska.
According to Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office at around 5:05 p.m. on Saturday, deputies were dispatched to the wedding for a gunshot wound.
Deputies learned that Michael Gardner, the wedding officiator, wanted to “start the wedding with a bang” and got the guests’ attention by shooting a blank Pietta-model revolver into the air.
The wedding had started 45 minutes past the original time because someone forgot the rings and the guests were spread out, according to Deputy Houchin.
When Gardner pulled out the gun to fire it, it slipped and shot his grandson in the left shoulder, Chief Deputy Ben Houchin said.
The 12-year-old was taken to a nearby hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Gardner turned himself in after the shooting. He was charged with felony child abuse for neglectable firing of a firearm and injuring someone.
Gardner had also put black powder into the casing and glued it. They believe the glue injured the child, according to officials.
“Playing with firearms, no matter what, if they’re blanks, bad things can certainly happen,” Deputy Houchin added.
Officials don’t believe Gardner intended to hurt his grandson or that alcohol was involved.